Crate and Barrel has found a new CEO. The home decor retailer has named Neela Montgomery, executive board member at Crate and Barrel's parent company, the Otto Group, CEO effective August 1. The Chicago Tribune reports Montgomery has served on boards for the Otto Group since 2014 and previously spent 12 years at Tesco, the third largest retailer in the world. Montgomery stepped into Doug Diemoz's spot after he abruptly left Crate and Barrel. Diemoz is at the center of a lawsuit filed against the company by competitor Restoration Hardware. Montgomery said in a statement to the press: “Crate and Barrel is a strong brand, a great company and a team of wonderful people. I'm looking forward to developing the company further by taking over not only strategic, but now also operational responsibility.”
Total Retail's Take: Crate and Barrel needs leadership and quick, especially with its recent plans to lease its famous Michigan Avenue storefront for Starbucks’ mega-storefront. Crate and Barrel has been at that location for over 27 years, and plans to close it shortly after the 2017 holiday season. In addition, Crate and Barrel is starting to create a plan to compete with fellow omnichannel home furnishing retailers. I'm interested to see the changes Crate and Barrel makes during this time of transition.